Honda has released images of several new eco-friendly two-wheelers it will present at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, including the EV-Cub electric motorcycle, the EVE-neo electric scooter and its previously-announced PCX global scooter, the first two-wheeler to employ an 'idling stop system'. The most interesting of the new eco-bikes is without doubt the EV-Cub, which employs what appears to be car2car and car2driver communications dubbed HELLO! (Honda ELectric mobility LOop) and a LOOP portable communication tool that fits in the palm of one’s hand and “allows people and mobility devices to communicate with each other.” The EV-Cub also appears to have electric motors in both front and rear wheels, indicating that it is almost certainly a two-wheel-drive (2WD) motorcycle. 2WD motorcycles are expected to become commonplace in the future as, like their 4WD automotive cousins, they offer traction advantages on loose surfaces and wet roads and improve rider safety, especially for learners.
We've been covering a raft of new technology from Nissan this week and one of the most interesting is its innovative assisted steering system, which synchronizes navigation, engine, braking and steering systems to help drivers make smoother (and safer) turns. By linking Nissan’s existing Distance Control Assist System to on-board navigation map data, the Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal can help the driver decelerate or brake as the car enters a curve based on real-time navigation information.
Back in 2005, Yamaha showed the wacky 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike
at the Tokyo Motor Show amidst a raft of other very non-conventional two wheelers such as the aptly named FC-Me fuel cell bike
, the ingenious Deinonychus elec tric reconfigurable motorcycle
, the Chivicker, Passol and the Maxam
two-wheeled limousine. Now it appears certain the bike will become a showroom model in 2010. A series of patent applications detail the new motorcycle which uses the YZF-R6 600cc engine to turn a generator which in turn powers the rear wheel. History shows that every Yamaha styling patent published over the last 20 years has resulted in a full production machine, so there's little doubt this one is also heading for a showroom near you in the very near future. You can expect to see it in the flesh for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.
December 21, 2007 In a further exploration of the theme of automobile as communal space displayed by the Round Box Concept
shown in Tokyo
this year, Nissan will unveil its FORUM concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The FORUM integrates a number of design features and communications technologies aimed at creating a family-friendly environment including trackless sliding side doors, the elimination of traditional B-pillars, versatile second row "Turntable Seating", an advanced Bose® Media System, multi-camera external monitoring, a built-in microwave and a "Kids Cam" monitoring system which allows adults to keep an eye on back seat mayhem via 2nd and 3rd row cameras mounted in the headliner and connected to the main instrument panel LCD display.
December 13, 2007 The Mazda
Furai concept vehicle will make its World debut alongside the new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Details of the Furai ("Sound of the wind") are still thin on the ground ahead of the launch and just one teasing image has been released, but the car will continue to extend the Nagare
(Japanese for “flow”) design language most recently showcased in the radical Mazda Taiki Concept
which premiered at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show
December 7, 2007 Toyota
has unveiled two additions to its growing family of partner robots
- a new mobility robot and a humanoid robot that's dexterous enough to play the violin. According to the company's release, the violin playing robot can perform a variety of delicate tasks with its arms and hands - each of which contain 17 joints - including being able to mimic the human ability to achieve vibrato on a violin. The new Mobility Robot - which shares its design platform with the I-Real
personal transport concept recently tested by Gizmag
at the Tokyo Motor Show - is capable of transporting its owner or following in their footsteps as a porter, autonomously avoiding obstacles at speeds of up to 4mph.
November 1, 2007 Another technological gem to surface at the Tokyo Motor Show
finger vein authentification steering wheel system. The potential for this biometric
system goes way beyond the enhancement of vehicle security – not only does it provide driver verification in a fraction of a second just by gripping the steering wheel, it also paves the way for authorization of automatic payment in drive-thrus or for music downloads to increasingly sophisticated networked car audio systems.
November 1, 2007 Shortly before the on-sale date of the new BMW 1 Series Coupé on 24 November, BMW designers have given an insight into what an out-and-out motorsport-focussed derivative might look like. The BMW Concept 1 Series tii uses lightweight materials, optimized aerodynamics and a race-inspired interior to deliver an uncompromising focus on motorsport.
October 29, 2007 Hino Motors, Ltd has unveiled a concept motorcoach incorporating SPD-Smart light-control windows – a technology that blocks more than 99% of UV radiation and allows vehicle occupants to instantly control the amount of sunlight, glare and heat passing through the windows and sunroofs.
Gizmag leapt at the opportunity to take Toyota’s I-REAL
personal mobility concept for a spin at the Tokyo Motor Show
yesterday. “The seating position was remarkably comfortable and the joystick controls fell to hand immediately. Handling was surprisingly intuitive – when compared to other personal mobility devices such as the Segway, which is itself by no means difficult to master, the I-REAL was a breeze to pilot”, said Gizmag’s Mike Hanlon of his first impressions of the I-REAL. "Simply, it’s quiet, it’s very easy to use - it can be used at strolling pace and you can travel alongside somebody who’s walking very slowly and hold a conversation with them very easily, but when given full throttle it can sprint away much faster than a human being can hope to hit full pace running". Check out the I-REAL in this video